So just know before you start this one, I am on my soap box. I can't help it, it was one of those days. Days where I had the television on while I worked and heard the news and top stories rebroadcast at 8, 11 & noon. The same headlines and the same steam coming out my ears and the same call towards heaven to rightside up our upside down world.
David, David, David. Letterman. King of late night talk. And I'm just saying..."talk" is apparently not all he's been doing in the kingdom with the subjects that help him earn the ridiculous salary he enjoys, which, as it turns out, it not all he enjoys.
Here's the truth Dave, its just a title, "King", just a phrase, just a moment of favor with the late night public. No special rules, no exemptions.
News feed otherwise knows as spin: "David Letterman target of extortion plot, admits affairs with staff and helps authorities arrest the real bad guy, who is now in jail, thanks to the cooperation of the king." My paraphrase...you're welcome.
Selfish and repulsive. Betraying his girlfriend-turned wife with the girls at the office and what strikes me as outrageous is that another man is behind bars facing a long sentence for his misconduct, while Mr. Alphabet is cruising along, probably increasing his viewership.
So I spent the day trying to figure out why and when extortion became a crime. Now, I don't mean it's right by any means. But it sounds to me like this was a guy offering a contract, an agreement, to someone with a few skeletons in the closet. A business deal.
I will sell the rights "to tell your secret" back to you for $2,000,000.
Sounds like an incredible sum, but all good negotiators start high and leave room for compromise and for heaven's sake, how much is the King worth? (I don't even know, you could google it.)
But suddenly an adulterer, traitor, betrayer becomes the victim in the shadow of a guy whose error was offering to sell his story to the wrong entity. He went to the guy who was likely MOST motivated to protect himself from the consequences of his actions, rather than some check-stand weekly gossip magazine that would have purchased the story, albiet for less, but paid well for the secrets. No crime, no harm, no foul, no extortion no jail.
All the while, as only the media can do, (because we purchase, listen and buy into it) his potential partner in the secret keeping, is in jail and Letterman, poor Letterman, must admit his folies to the public. A public, I might add that will, no doubt, still tune in.
There must have been quite a meeting behind closed doors with his publicists and law enforcement. The success of the plot, to pull the wool over our eyes, has become apparent. He gets to make the announcement on his "familiar, comfortable, I'm still Letterman" set, and admit the truth.
Not because he was a broken, sorry, accept responsibility kind of guy, but because he knew it was going to be made public anyway, so I'm guessing Davey got scared and made a deal. "I'll cooperate, but I decide how and when this goes public, and I still get to be the King."
He looks victimized, and the bully is behind bars. Whew, that was close.
I'm sorry, except that I'm not at all sorry, but this whole deal begs a few questions.
What if the guy had asked for $200,000 or $20,000 instead of $2,000,000? I mean I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that it was not his moral highground that made him say "No" and call the authorities, but probably, the price. I'm going to guess maybe arrogance and anger that someone else, at least for a moment, was going to call the shots on his reputation.
So I wonder, what is it worth to him to protect his wife & son from the shame and betrayal of his actions? I'm not saying it would have, but if ripping your clothes off with another woman, will ultimately rip your wife's heart out, at least look like you are trying to protect them, no matter what the cost.
We already know he doesn't think she's worth his self control, or denying himself the pleasure of another woman, she isn't worth that much to him.
I'm wondering if he considered a meeting with a marriage counselor about the coming damage to his family or if his strategic powwows were limited to his professional life and reputation.
Don't even think about giving him the benefit of the doubt.
She was his faithful live-in for 20 years before he decided she was worth a legal commitment...but I guess not quite worth the whole "keeping only unto you" marital commitment.
The wrong guy's in jail. That's all I'm saying. Who exactly was damaged or devastated by the contract to keep the secret? Weigh that against the damage and devastation of a family because of a broken marriage promise. And if we think its just another example of celebrity lifestyle and doesn't effect the everyday guy...PLEASE we are so bombarded with this stuff it has become the norm and the culture just keeps swirling the toilet bowl.
The king at our house even asked the other day if the new fall line up was all based on sex. Yep, different settings, different names, same story. I'm thinking about unplugging the magical box of entertainment just so we doesn't get desensitized!
So Letterman will live on, I doubt sponsors will pull out, I am hoping some staffer/harrem types do. He'll suffer no public embarrassment thanks to the guy wanting to sell the rights to the secret who now sits in the dungeon. The King's publicist should get a raise, for this expert manuever and protection of the Kingdom.
But in the King's private quarters, does the Queen still delight in his company? Visit him of her own accord, build him up to the prince? The king may just find that though he thought $2,000,000 was too high a price for his behavior...what he has lost in the eyes and hearts of his family cannot be bought back, at any price. I pray they matter to him that much, if only in retrospect.